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0105_001E A Yankee in the Trenches R. Derby Holmes


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Table Of Contents: A  Yankee in the Trenches

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Firing step - A narrow ledge running along the parapet on which a soldier stands to look over the top.

Flare - A star light sent up from a pistol to light up out in front.

Fritz - An affectionate term for our friend the enemy.

Funk hole - A dug-out.

Gas - Any poisonous gas sent across when the wind is right. Used by both sides. Invented by the Germans.

Goggles - A piece of equipment similar to that used by motorists, supposed to keep off tear gas. The rims are backed with strips of sponge which Tommy tears off and throws the goggle frame away.

Go west - To die.

Grouse - Complain. Growl. Kick.

Hun - A German.

Identification disc - A fiber tablet bearing the soldier's name, regiment, and rank. Worn around the neck on a string.

Iron rations - About two pounds of nonperishable rations to be used in an emergency.

Knuckle knife - A short dagger with a studded hilt. Invented by the Germans.

Lance Corporal - The lowest grade of non-commissioned officer.

Lewis gun - A very light machine gun invented by one Lewis, an officer in the American army.

Light railway - A very narrow-gauge railway on which are pushed little hand cars.

Listening post - One or more men go out in front, at night, of course, and listen for movements by the enemy.

Maconochie - A scientifically compounded and well-balanced ration, so the authorities say. It looks, smells, and tastes like rancid lard.

M.O. - Medical Officer. A foxy cove who can't be fooled with faked symptoms.

Mess tin - A combination teapot, fry pan, and plate.

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Military cross - An officer's decoration for bravery.

Military medal - A decoration for bravery given to enlisted men.

Mills - The most commonly used hand grenade.

Minnies - German trench mortar projectiles.

Napper - The head.

Night 'ops - A much hated practice manoeuvre done at night.

No Man's Land - The area between the trenches.

On your own - At liberty. Your time is your own.

Out or over there - Somewhere in France.

Parados - The back wall of a trench.

Parapet - The front wall of a trench.

Patrol - One or more men who go out in front and prowl in the dark, seeking information of the enemy.

Periscope - A boxlike arrangement with two mirrors for looking over the top without exposing the napper.

Persuader - A short club with a nail-studded head.

Pip squeak - A German shell which makes that kind of noise when it comes over.

Push up the daisies - To be killed and buried.

Ration party - A party of men which goes to the rear and brings up rations for the front line.

Rest - Relief from trench service. Mostly one works constantly when "resting."

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A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes

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